April 19, 2011 By BJ Cook,
Writing up 10 "did ya know thats" about Magento eCommerce takes 1.65 hours according to my Harvest timesheet. As the consumer of this content, I hope you find my use of agency time useful; Perhaps you will use these nuggets to help you choose Magento, perhaps you will use them to get more use out of your current Magento eCommerce store. 1 ) Paying Uncle Sam To tax or not to tax. Answer this question effortlessly & accurately based on location & product attributes. If out of the box Magento doesn't fit your business, Avalara's tax module hooks up your Magento eComm store with everything you need. 2 ) Logistics Solved Not into running to the UPS store to ship your customer's orders? Magento will integrate with your existing carrier's API and your backend accounting software. 3 ) Return To Sender When it comes to customers returning products, make it easy on both parties. Magento offers an out of box solution for handling returns & with only light customization, this return system can be built out to fulfill the most demanding return policy. 4 ) Theres a Template for that From shipping updates for guest shoppers to contact forms, Magento has a template for that. Each and every template Magento comes with is fully customizable to fit your branding requirements. 5 ) Magento as a CMS Customize everything your customer sees or leave it "out of box" - Magento has the flexibility to meet your brand's content management requirements. Whether its changing copy, layout, images or other assets, Magento's intuitive backend manages your content with a minimum learning curve. 6 ) Magento as a CRM You know your customers, right? Magento has the capability to help you manage the relationship with your customers. Everyone who does business with you is saved as a contact by the site manager. This file contains contact information, what products have been viewed, current shopping cart, wish list and more. Make contact with your customers via the newsletters your customers are subscribed to. 7 ) Dial Up Do you have customers calling you to purchase products? How are you currently managing that system? Magento could be the solution for both your eComm & your existing phone, snail mail or fax orders. Utilizing Magento's backend UI, orders for new customers can be created or existing customers can be accessed. 8 ) Don't Create Barriers How do your customers prefer to checkout? Do they want to become a registered user or do they want to breeze through checkout as a guest? Give them the choice, but let them them know that registered users have the option to track the status of their shipments & ship to multiple addresses. If collecting customer information is important to you, calling out these benefits, say during the holiday season when people are shipping to other addresses, can increase this important indicator of site performance. 9 & 10 ) Be Relevant & Sell More As an avid equestrian, I frequent online tack stores. The other day my trainer asked me to find a "three ring elevator bit" for my steed. I Googled these keywords and choose three retailers who were most relevant to my search: Horse.com, DoverSaddlery.com and ChicksSaddlery.com. Each of these three eComm stores are on different eComm platforms but all take advantage of what Magento calls "rule based product relation". A bit like any product has attributes - price, construction, use case, brand. This particular product costs between $29.99 and $196.75. Dover's eComm solution was the only Upseller, stating: "May We Also Suggest" and presenting me with a Herm Sprenger $196.75 three ring bit. Horse.com & ChicksSaddlery.com both suggested "related products" - a Pommel bag, an english to western girth converter & a tumbler were among the most non relevant. I added the (less expensive) bit from DoverSaddlery.com to my cart and proceeded to the checkout. Dover handles cross-sells by offering me "Buy-A-Bonus", attempting to reach a certain shopping cart threshold. It worked, sorta. I happened to need a new flash for my dressage bridle so I used the search box to find one. Then the site slowed down to a snails pace... I still had the Horse.com tab opened so I added their bit to my cart, searched & found a flash, was cross sold a pair of gloves & checked out. DoverSaddlery.com was still trying to load while I was receiving a purchase confirmation from Horse.com. When it comes to choosing an eCommerce platform, there are a hundred things to think about. Don't get overwhelmed! Managing your eCommerce channel shouldn't take up all your time. If you have Magneto right now or if you are looking to choose a platform soon, give DO a call and allow us to help you make the most out of your eCommerce channel.

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